Dortmund flexing their muscles, Sancho must stay
Borussia Dortmund are flexing their muscles in their efforts to keep England forward Jadon Sancho at the club.
In the club's pre-season training-camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, the 2012 German Champions sporting director Michael Zorc announced the surprising news.
"We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season," Zorc commented. He called the decision "final", adding, "I think that answers all the questions."
The 20-year-old forward will stay with coach Lucien Favre's squad for the 2020/2021 season. Almost casually, Zorc mentioned that the Black and Yellows secretly extended the striker's contract until 2023.
"Last summer, we adjusted Jadon's salary to match the development of his performances. So, in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then," Zorc said.
Capped 11 times for England, Sancho had been the main target for Premier League side Manchester United. The German side said any possible deal had to be fixed before the team travels to Switzerland.
Reports suggested that Dortmund wanted 120 million Euros for Sancho. Affected by the COVID-19 crisis, United unsuccessfully tried to lower the price.
Rumors broke of Dortmund having to sell Sancho for financial reasons. Sancho joined the side in 2017 for 7.8 million coming from Manchester City's under 23s.
The news about Sancho and his prolonged contract underlines why Dortmund has been sticking to their guns in respect to the 120-million euro fee, which United either couldn't afford or regarded as unrealistic.
The perhaps artificial deadline might leave space for further speculation, but Dortmund's stance appears final.
The announcement not only addresses the club's demand to have undisturbed preparations for the 2020/2021 season but underlines Dortmund's future ambitions.
The decision increases the pressure on coach Favre to challenge national rival Bayern Munich and do better in continental competitions such as the Champions League.
Further, the decision might be an appropriate answer to former Bayern president Uli Hoeness and former German international Lothar Matthaeus.
Both have accused Dortmund of a misleading transfer policy.
Over the space of many years, Borussia has signed young promising players like Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Erling Haaland, Achraf Hakimi, and Sancho.
Behind the deals always stood the intention to sell the top-talents to bigger clubs later and make a significant profit.
2018 World Cup winner Dembele joined Barcelona for 105 million, while Aubameyang went to Arsenal for 64 million.
Hoeness and Matthaeus said Dortmund wouldn't win any titles as players are seen as speculation objects from the start. They therefore lack identification and only concentrate on their interests.